Olympic champion Serbia won the 5th place at the men’s water polo tournament of the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju.
Serbia defeated Australia 13:9 in the match for the 5th place
Greece beat Germany 11:6 in the game for the 7-8 classification, which was the 1st match of the last competition day.
Serbia – Australia 13:9 (6:1, 3:2, 1:2, 3:4)
Serbia: Risticevic (10 saves), Mandic 1, V. Rasovic 1, Randjelovic 1, Mi. Cuk 4, Lazic 1, Vico, Dedovic, Jaksic, Drasovic, Stojanovic, S. Rasovic 4, Dobozanov. Head coach: Savic.
Australia: Dennerley (3 saves), Campbell 1, G. Ford 1, Kayes 1, Power, L. Edwards, Roach, Younger 2, A. Ford, Putt, Howden, B. Edwards 1, Hrysanthos (6 saves). Head coach: Fatovic.
Extra player: Serbia 10 (5) , Australia 10(4). Penalties: Serbia 1 (1), Australia 1 (1).
Serbia played very badly in the opening minutes of the previous two matches (against Spain and Germany).
Today, they ruled the field from the first whistle. The Olympic champions built a 6:0 advantage. The Aussies got on the scoreboard only 3 seconds before the end of the opening quarter when Campbell converted a man-up for 1:6.
In the second quarter, Australia head coach Elvis Fatovic rotated goalkeepers. Hrysanthos replaced Dennerley. The Serbs slowed down in offense, but they continued to control the match.
Australia started climbing back. Early in the fourth, the “Sharks” reduced the gap to 3 (7:10), but Serbia’s win wasn’t in danger. Led by a captain Milos Cuk and Strahinja Rasovic (each scored 4 goals), the Serbs recorded a 4-goal victory.
The 5th place isn’t a big success for Serbia. But don’t forget, the Serbs were playing without seven main players. A young team finished the race two steps far away from medals, so the 5th place isn’t a disappointment, after bronze in Budapest 2017 and gold in Kazan 2015. The Serbs were 7th six years ago in Barcelona, which was their lowest rang at the WCH.
Australia was 7th in Budapest 2017.
Germany – Greece 6:11 (2:1, 2:3, 0:2, 2:5)
Germany: Schenkel (9 saves), Reibel, Van der Bosch, J. Real 1, Preuss, Jungling, Strelezkij 1, Gielen, Stamm 2, Ma. Cuk, Restovic 1, Eidner 1, Goetz. Head coach: Stamm.
Greece: Galanidis (16 saves), Genidounias, Skoumpakis, Papanastasiou 1, Fountoulis 1, Kapotsis 2, Dervisis 3, Argyropoulos 2, Mourikis, Kolomvos, Gounas, Vlachopoulos 2, Zerdevas. Head coach: Vlachos.
Extra player: Germany 4 (2), Greece 9 (4).
Deep into the first period, Germany was 2:0 up, The Greeks turned around the score and they were leading in the second quarter (3:2, 4:3). At halftime, it was 4:4. Greece secured the win by the middle of the last quarter. They jumped to a 10:4 lead before Germany scored its first goal in the second half (Restovic for 5:10 with 3:04 remaining on the clock). Greece’s goalkeeper Galanidis did a good job today, with 16 saves.
Greece finished the tournament with a win, but the 7th place is a drop comparing to the previous two championships. They won bronze in Kazan 2015. Two years later they took the 4th place.
Germany, which didn’t qualify for the championships in 2015 and 2017, could be satisfied with the 8th place. The Germans played well against favorites, like Italy, Croatia and Serbia are.
12 South Africa
15 South Korea
16 New Zealand